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Anne Hardy (born 1970) is a British artist best known for her large-scale photographic work of unusual interior spaces. She completed an MA in photography at the Royal College of Art in 2000, having graduated from Cheltenham School of Art in 1993 with a degree in painting. Hardy lives and works in London and is represented by Maureen Paley, London.
Hardy's images appear to be photographs of existing places but they are quite the opposite. They are actually carefully constructed sets, created by the artist in her studio, which she then photographs. The subjects of Hardy's artworks are usually objects or junk which she has found in markets, DIY shops, urban skips or jumble sales. The type of objects she chooses have ranged from large antlers, brightly coloured cables, old Christmas trees, light bulbs, American basketballs, orange balloons, scientific test tubes and even butterflies. Hardy puts these everyday objects together and transforms them into unusual, almost dreamlike, environments which can be unnerving with their themes of abandonment and desolation.
Other characteristics in her work are unpainted plasterboard on the walls of the rooms and visible foam sealant. Her work Lumber (2003) for example, where a neglected room houses heaps of old Christmas trees which have been hidden from the world and left to decay. Art writer Charlotte Cotton comments, "The skill of making a photograph such as Lumber is to avoid overloading the image with obvious signs and allegory, but to maintain a sense, albeit a fabricated one, that we are looking at an observed rather than a meticulously constructed scene. The space looks like a storeroom for unwanted Christmas trees, but the indoor environoment, the menacing shape of the mound of greenery and the thought of what might lie beneath it make for a compelling hovering between what this place might actually be and the unsettling atmosphere within it."
Hardy's work has been published in Vitamin PH: New Perspectives in Photography (2006) by Phaidon Press and Charlotte Cotton's book The Photograph as Contemporary Art as well as magazines including Dazed & Confused, The Guardian, Photography Now, Tank (magazine) and Art Review. In January 2007, Hardy gave an interview to The Guardian newspaper on the subject of her image Untitled VI (2005).
In March 2007, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London exhibited Anne Hardy's 2005 work Untitled IV (balloons). The V&A bought the image for their collection with the help of the Cecil Beaton art fund. In June 2007, three of Hardy's works, Booth (2006), Untitled IV (balloons) (2005) and Close Range (2006), were exhibited at the 52nd International Venice Biennale art festival. The accompanying New Forest Pavilion exhibition catalogue included the image Outpost (2007) and a critical essay by John Slyce.
In April 2008, Hardy had her first USA solo exhibition in New York at Bellwether Gallery. This was followed with Hardy's work being included in a group show at Gagosian Gallery, New York called Untitled (Vicarious): Photographing the Constructed Object which ran from September until December 2008. Hardy's work was shown in the Helsinki Biennale which ran until January 25, 2009.